Girls' night

There is only one concert at the fair this year that featured a solo female headliner and there is also only one concert at the fair this year that only featured female performers and it was the pair of Iggy Azalea and Demi Lovato.

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North County Theatre Works presents “Anything Goes”

“I wanted to produce something light and fun this summer,” said Director Catherine Kingsbury, “and something that provides an opportunity for a wide range of ages and talents.”

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Smedley, Hensley present #IMOMSOHARD

They said they usually like to touch on some “Nebraska-isms” during their act. If anyone comes to the show from Nebraska, Jen Smedley said, “you can rest assured we’ll find them.” Kristin Hensley added, “The way we know is they’ll bring a crock-pot with something like Corn Flakes on top.”

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REVIEW: Bennett holds Paso in hug

PASO ROBLES – I’m not worthy of writing about this great man, but I’m sticking with the assignment! Everyone knows of Tony Bennett at this point — just as we know of Elvis and Sinatra. He’s the boy from Queens, New York, one of three kids, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto and raised by his mom after his dad died when he was only 10. He went to an arts high school where he bloomed his two passions of singing and painting, sang while waiting tables, enlisted in the Army during WWII, singing in military bands. Started singing nightclubs in Astoria in 1946… until he was discovered by Bob Hope. Apparently, Bob Hope had him change his stage name from Joe Bari to Tony Bennett and his career went on to be one of the most successful of all time: He is a major player in the Great American Songbook, with enough Grammys to be centerpieces at each table at Michael Buble’s wedding, enough chart-toppers to fill to the rims of every martini glass in Manhattan, and performing duets with more stars than the Milky Way. And he’s one of only a handful of artists who have new albums charting in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and still today. Everyone was talking about how Tony Bennett was still singing with near-perfect pitch. 91-years-old and still holding on to the side of the grand piano in his white jacket. Doing the shimmy. Singing those lyrics that remind us that love is all there is. To make it count. One thing Tony Bennett does when the audience roars and claps after his songs is he hugs himself. He probably did that five times during his show. I took it as a hug to me and a hug for all of us. Music and hugs, that’s Tony Bennett.

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Rabbi Janice and Her Friends perform benefit concert in A-Town

Rabbi Janice Mehring and her friends will be performing “An Elegant Evening of Song” in Atascadero on Sunday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m.

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Edgar Winter Band coming to Morro Bay this weekend

MORRO BAY — Legendary multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter will perform with his band at The Siren, 900 Main St, Morro Bay, on Sunday, June 10. Doors open at 7 p.m. This event is open to patrons 21 and over. Tickets are $35-$40. For more information call 805-225-1312 or visit thesirenmorrobay.com. Winter’s band includes: Edgar Winter on saxophone, keyboards, percussion and vocals; Doug Rappoport on guitar; Koko Powell, bass; and Jason Carpenter on drums. Edgar is best known for his No. 1 charting hit single “Frankenstein” and the ever-popular “Free Ride” from his 1973 release They Only Come Out at Night, which stayed on the Billboard Hot 200 chart for an impressive 80 weeks peaking at No. 3. It was certified double platinum in November 1986.

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YouTuber spreads positive vibes

Christian Garcia is an Atascaderan — He went to Monterey Road Elementary, Atascadero Junior High, graduated early from AHS and Del Rio. “All of the teachers at school follow me on Instagram,” he said with a laugh. He said all their support has been “mind-blowing.”

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AMS invites public to be their guest

“Beauty and the Beast Jr.” cast invites the community to “be their guest” to see Belle and the Beast, Gaston and LeFou, Mrs. Poss and Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth and all the enchanted castle characters perform on Friday June 1 through Sunday, June 3 at the Atascadero Middle School Baro Gym.

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“Deadpool 2” places local rap in movie

“We couldn’t be more excited to be back for the sequel, and are honored to be part of the most outrageous franchise in superhero history,” said Teamheadkick vocalist and songwriter Mason Storm.

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A Mediterranean Escape

“I love to enjoy the moment, so I’ll be playing, I’ll be dancing, they’ll be dancing — whatever comes our way,” said Pavlo, who explained his music is all about enjoying the night, enjoying the music and enjoying each other.

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North County talent stars in 'Oklahoma!'

Gabriel Manro shared that he really wanted to title this article “SLOklahoma!” because that was the ranching, horseback riding, cowboy culture he grew up in. He said, “I’ve been all over the world and I don’t know of a place more beautiful than San Luis Obispo.”

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UPDATE: CANCELLED/Travelling circus pops a tent in Paso

Circo Osorio Owner Frank Osorio said, “We have whole generations of families that actually come to the circus. They came when they were little kids. And then they grow up and have their kids come to the circus too. Every year or every other year we play their town, they always come back and bring their kids.”

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Class Act Dance receives accreditation

“It’s the first year in eight years that we’ve exceeded standards for technique,” Class Act Artistic Director Cheryle Armstrong said, adding that her company also met standards for choreography. “To have someone [Sutton] of his caliber come in and be very complimentary of the class — he’s taught all over the world, coached at the Bolshoi, taught at Juilliard – so for him to come into our little town, he was very complimentary.”

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'Peter Pan, Jr.' x2

Applause Children’s Theater will take on the Disney Classic “Peter Pan,” with the Musical Theater International version: “Peter Pan Jr.” coming up on April 27 and 28 and May 4 and 5 at the George Flamson Middle School auditorium in Paso Robles. Two casts of student actors, ages 7 to 16 (and even one 5-year-old girl), will take turns on the different evenings and matinees, playing the popular characters. “We double-casted the show this time to give more kids the opportunity to have leads,” said Applause Children Theatre (ACT) Director Vikky Mullin. “My goal is to have them on stage as much as possible.” Mullin added,“We have two wonderful casts of kids. So what that means is the chorus stays the same but the leads are doubles, so we have two Wendys, two Peters — two of every lead.” During the shows when the children are not playing the leads, they perform in the chorus. When Mullin is often asked if the performance quality is elementary school-level, she always says with a laugh, “It’s really not. What we do is put on a Broadway production with miniature actors.” “Our choreography is amazing,” she said. Mullin will often pull in local talent for guest choreography, as she did for “Peter Pan Jr.”

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The hills of Paso are alive with the 'Sound of Music'

PASO ROBLES — Paso High Theatre Company will present “The Sound of Music,” one of the world’s most beloved musicals, at the Paso Robles High School Performing Arts Center next week. The show will run from Friday, April 13 to Sunday, April 22. The performance is under the direction of Marcy Goodnow, Director of Theatre Arts and PRHS.Choreography is by Courtney Brock and vocal direction is by Aimee Ware. The “Sound of Music” is the final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. In 1965, the story based on the life of the von Trapp family was made into a musical drama film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film was a box office hit at the time, and received five Academy Awards, and continues to be a world-recognized legacy and one of the most popular movies of all time, with songs, like, “Do-Re-Mi” and “My Favorite Things,” permanently ingrained into many people’s memories.

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A Grand Palette

“Little did I know that the teacher had told the band, ‘Whatever Brian does, you play something else,’” Opera SLO Conductor Brian Asher Alhadeff recalled.

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REVIEW: “Other Desert Cities” strikes a nerve

Elaine Fournier, who directed the Park Ballroom performance, quoted the words of playwright Lin-Manual Miranda in the playbill, “who lives, who dies, who tells your story” to describe the heart of the play, exploring the question of truth in the unearthing of one’s memories.

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ZZ Top, George Thorogood to perform at Mid-State Fair

PASO ROBLES — The California Mid-State Fair is pleased to announce that rock legends ZZ Top has been confirmed to perform in concert on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Special Guest will be George Thorogood, who will open the show. ZZ TOP’s concert is part of the annual Bud Light Concert Series and will take place in the Chumash Grandstand Arena at the Paso Robles Event Center. Ticket prices for the show are $31, $41, $61 and $81 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. online at www.MidStateFair.com or by calling 1-800-909-FAIR (3247), and at 1 p.m. at the California Mid-State Fair box office located at 2198 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles.

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Atascadero native makes surf doc with heart

“This is a story of four souls whose past will not define who they will become...”

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‘My Fair Lady’ coming to TPAC

Templeton High School Drama will present Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” at the Templeton Performing Arts Center for eight showings this month. Show times will be March 15 -17, 22-24 at 7 p.m. with Saturday matinees March 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. This production will be directed by award-winning Catherine Kingsbury, manager of Templeton Performing Arts Center, and assistant director and vocal coach Lauren Josephs. The show will also feature a live orchestra (including 15 Templeton High School students) conducted by David Landers, with choreography by Suzy Miller. In all, 50 students will help bring the production to life. Kingsbury said it is very exciting to have a live orchestra, something that only happens every few years due to the difficulty in working around the schedules of all those involved.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Early Man' falls a little flat

I had every intention of writing a nice, positive review about a movie I was 99.9 percent sure I was going to love. “Early Man,” produced by Aardman Animation and the British Film Institute, is a claymation movie about a caveman named Dug, his sidekick Hognob (a wild boar), who tries to keep a bad guy named Lord Nooth from taking his primordial land and turning it into a giant mine. Dug and his buddies had ancient relatives who were futball (soccer) players according to some cave paintings. One oddball thing leads to another and pretty soon Lord Nooth and his professional futballers are battling Dug’s caveman tribe in a match to save their little patch of land. If they lose the cavemen have to become miners.

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Face-to-face: ‘Portal’ brings live global interactions to Cuesta College

The latest exhibit at the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Gallery will connect participants to individuals around the world in real-time. The global public art initiative “Portals: Connecting the World: A Social Practice Exhibition” is coming to Cuesta College Feb. 22 – March 29. During that time, an inflatable portal, equipped with immersive audio-visual technology, will be located in the gallery, providing face-to-face, live, full-body interactions with individuals in identical portals all over the world. The Cuesta Portal will connect to the countries of Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Palestine, Panama, Rwanda, and more.

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to perform at California Mid-State Fair

PASO ROBLES — The California Mid-State Fair announced Friday that country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will be performing at the Chumash Grandstand Arena Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is part of the annual Bud Light Concert Series. Ticket prices for the show range from $51 to $156 and will go on sale Friday, Feb. 16. Tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. online at www.MidStateFair.com or by calling 1-800-909-FAIR (3247), and at 1 p.m. at the California Mid-State Fair box office, located at 2198 Riverside Ave. in Paso Robles.

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Prestigious dancer visits Paso's Class Act

"My line that I always say is: ‘You will have butterflies, but you just learn to get your butterflies in formation.’” –New York City Ballet Master James Sutton

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Ortega’s hosts grand opening

Locals know David and Ana Elias from their wildly popular former restaurant, Margaritas. The parents of four have been owning and operating restaurants in Atascadero for 20 years. David Elias is a Greyhound — he attended Atascadero High School back in the 90s — and Ana Elias grew up in San Luis Obispo. David Elias took a small hiatus from the restaurant business to spend more time with his family, but he couldn’t turn down the tempting location of the former Ocean Harvest spot. For the grand opening of Ortega’s Mexican Cuisine, the Elias’ are offering $1.99 tacos and $1.99 domestic beer all day on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The public is invited to join them for some complimentary nachos and taquito platters during a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

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Paso native animates Pixar blockbusters

When Mike Venturini attended Paso Robles High School back in the early 90s, he was considered the “art kid” and was asked to paint the Bearcats logo on the gym floor. Now he’s heading hundreds of animators at one of the most prestigious animation studios in the world.

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Low cost-dance classes begin with free East Coast Swing session

“The first dance of the year is always free, to have people come and by and check it out,” said Wayne Lyons, President of the Atascadero Agricultural Hall. His entertainment committee sponsors the dances for the communities. The dances take place at the more than 100-year-old Atascadero Grange Hall, one of the original “Colony” homes of the city, which used to serve at a USO dance hall for Camp Roberts during WWII.

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Season’s ‘Nutcracker’ delights

The sets were beautifully painted and classic. The costumes were brilliant and the cast was delightful: young ballerinas smiling and nailing their parts and lead dancers putting on a first-class performance, fit for any big-city stage.

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T’was time for the Nutcracker

“It’s always been my dream to be Clara,” said Emaly Bousman, 13, of Trinity Lutheran School, who sees her dream come true as she stars as Clara in this year’s performance.

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Kate Steinway’s EP debuts

Our Tent City girl has released her latest album.

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Taco Day arrives on Traffic Way

“It’s fun. I love what I do, man,” Steven Rodriguez Sullivan said. “We’re going to officially roll out one of our new menu items, called ‘Ques-acos.’ I wanted a Quesadilla and a taco at the same time, you know. And that’s how Ques-acos was born.”

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Chef Antonio Varia talks porcini, Piemonte and coming to America

“He come by with a big chef hat, ‘You call that Minestrone?’” Varia growled, mimicking his father, “‘Throw it away! Do it again!’ — crazy.” So Varia said he learned to cut with precision. “I throw them away. Next time we make it better. I learn how to do it with love.” – Chef Antonio Varia

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Fifth-graders listen to Winds

"Music never lets you down.” – Atascadero resident and SLO Winds Conductor, Jennifer Martin

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Harvest Wine Weekend: Vino crew hits the road in search of crush festivities

“Well, that’s that,” I said to myself just as my husband’s voice broke through my apparent mild case of catatonia saying, “Stomp on them! You’ll never make any juice just standing there, the whole point is to squish them.” – Madeline Vail

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Glorious Volumes

“Well, I’ve been a drawer and a painter all my life,” said Asdel, “but this poetry thing is new. Well, 12 years. Is that new?” he laughs. “It’s new for me!”

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Pure Silver

“I was just checking the place out because I was so enthralled. He had all these old tools, and he goes, ‘Hey – you wanna try that?’ and I had already picked up some metal in our class before and tried it earlier, and so I had some idea what to do, so he got excited and hired me… I just fell into something that most people wouldn’t have the chance to fall into.” – Randy Stromsoe

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Love’s longevity performed

Jenny Shaheen said the first time she read Sharr White’s script she was blown away. “He just has the ability to write from a very real and honest place,” she said.

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Earth Wind & Fire: Funk legends bring message of peace and love to Vina Robles

Earth, Wind & Fire played at Vina Robles on the Tuesday, on the nineteenth of September. It was surreal, to me, since arguably their most popular song is titled “September” and begins with the lyrics “Do you remember, the 21st night of September?” They may have missed the marquee night by two, but it was still incredible that they chose the small city of Paso Robles to play so close to the famous night, even if it is 46 years after the debut of the hit song.

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TOPGUN instructor and Navy Pilot Hal “Bull” Schmitt

“Yes, it’s a business, but it should be fun,” he said. “I really believe more than anything that wine is made for drinking, and it should be a social experience. Yes, you can drink on your own, but it’s better when you have family and friends around. That’s how we approach everything.” –Hal Schmitt

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Whale Rock: Castoro's gift to local students

The California certified organic winery and music hub of the area, Castoro Cellars, is on it’s fifth year of bringing back an all ages soulful event, something reminiscent of the groovy 60s. Castoro’s Udsen family doesn’t make a penny on the Whale Rock Festival. All profits benefit Templeton school music education. The Whale Rock Music Festival will be Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16, beginning at noon each day. Tickets for the first day are almost sold out. The festival (formerly known as Beaverstock) will have it’s usual mostly Central Coastal lineup of country western, folk, eclectic, soul, global and funk banks at the same time as gatherings and meetups for yoga classes, as well as art, food, and wine to discover. Aside from the new name, a little marketplace with local vendors will debut, and a trippy ‘Silent Disco’ experience, where headphone gear accompanies a dance party under a tent of contrasting boogie moves.

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Max Randoph's classic trade in a magical art

Walking into Max Randolph’s Paso Robles hillside studio, one might see the fifth generation blacksmith turning and forming a massive steel pipe over his great, hand-refurbished forging oven, sparks flying, steel morphing from red to yellow, sweat dripping off his forehead onto his beard, and think, bewildered – what year is this? Where am I? The Industrial Revolution of America? The Art Nouveau movement in France? A sword and weaponry mercantile down thither the stone steps of Casterly Rock? “I really took to steel because I loved the permanence of it,” Randolph said, describing the entry into the blacksmith profession as coming “from a lifetime of being misunderstood to all of a sudden finding a means to express yourself.”

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A little piece of Broadway: Idina Menzel brings soulful singing, a personal touch to Vina Robles

On Sunday night at Vina Robles, Broadway star and vocal powerhouse Idina Menzel delighted the audience not only with her soulful singing, but also with intimate glimpses into her life. During the 90-minute concert she bared her soul on romantic relationships, motherhood, and life as a performer. Menzel’s new album, “Idina,” provided the foundation of the experience. Starting with the energetic “Queen of Swords,” Menzel set the vocal expectations high, both literally and figuratively. The song featured a strong African-inspired drumbeat and a pre-chorus that ascended into the vocal stratosphere, prompting delighted cheers from the audience.

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Punk rockers Rancid, Dropkick Murphys coming to Avila Beach

As part of the “From Boston to Berkeley tour,” punkers Rancid and Boston Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys will be co-headlining in Avila Beach Resort at Friday, Aug. 18th at 5 p.m. We caught up with Dropkick Murphys lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwrit

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